Prison worker who helped 2 killers escape gets up to 7 years

29 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Prison worker Joyce Mitchell sentenced to up to 7 years for helping killers break out of N.Y. prison.

The prison seamstress who helped two murderers escape from the Clinton Correctional Facility sobbed Monday as she was sent to the slammer for up to seven years.

Taking off her glasses and wiping away tears, Mitchell said she helped David Sweat and Richard Matt because she was afraid they would hurt her husband Lyle, who also works at Clinton. “I just don’t find that explanation credible,” Clinton County Court Judge Kevin Ryan told her and then imposed a sentence of 2 1/3 to 7 years in prison. Mitchell, who entered the courtroom in tears, left the same way after apologizing for her role in the “Shawshank Redemption”-style breakout on June 6 that stunned New York and the nation.

Mitchell said the two murderers also had learned where her mother and one of her three children lives, and that she was worried about their safety as well. Meanwhile, stunned state corrections officials discovered Matt and Sweat had cut their way out of their adjacent cells to a catwalk and then crawled through an underground steam pipe to reach a street manhole beyond the prison walls. A prison guard, Gene Palmer, who authorities have said unwittingly abetted the escape plot, has pleaded not guilty to a charge of promoting prison contraband.

A du Pont family heir who pleaded guilty nearly six years ago to raping his 3-year-old daughter was never put behind bars because a Delaware judge ruled he “would not fare well” in prison, court records show. Richards IV — scion of the family who built the chemical empire and kin to the co-founders of a prestigious law firm, Richards Layton & Finger — was given eight years probation and was ordered to seek treatment after being convicted of fourth-degree rape in 2008, the records show.

Officials managed to keep the case away from the public spotlight until this month — when his ex-wife, Tracy Richards, filed a lawsuit seeking compensatory and punitive damages for abusing their daughter and son, the News Journal reported. The recently filed litigation claims that the father — who lives in a $1.8 million mansion near Winterthur Museum — raped his daughter, now 11, several times beginning in 2005, according to the newspaper. The lawsuit claims that while taking another lie detector test in 2010, Richards allegedly told the examiner he began to sexually abuse his son in 2005 — when the boy was 19 months old. Saying the abuse was “similar to what happened with his daughter,” Richards allegedly “promised that whatever I did to my son, I will never do it again,” the lawsuit said. “This self-confessed, admitted rapist and child abuser didn’t go to jail and, in fact, he stays in luxury where he’s always been,” said the lawyer, Thomas C.

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